Tuesday, November 25, 2008

justification for knitting with acrylic

There's a lot of chatter online (blogs, Ravelry... OK, I only ever read Ravelry these days) about using acrylic when there are so many other nice fibres available. And it's true, acrylic is kinda crappy and nice wool and alpaca and silk feel soooo lovely.

For the past few days, I've really wanted to start crocheting a sweater. I have a strong urge to crochet! I looked through my stash and didn't want to use any of it. (not surprising ha ha) BUT, my first instinct was to buy some cheap acrylic yarn from the discount store. I fought the urge, and as I was walking to the LYS, I examined my reasons for turning to the dreaded A-yarn....

There is less pressure to produce a "good" product if I make it with acrylic.

And by "good" I mean: wearable, in a colour that I will like for a long time, something that fits well, looks nice, doesn't go out of style, etc.

If I spend money on good yarn, and take the time to knit/crochet a sweater, I had better love it and wear it a lot! But, if I buy cheap yarn, it's OK if the project doesn't work out, and the yarn will survive frogging and re-knitting. Or I can donate it. It doesn't matter because it didn't cost very much.

It was a real eye-opener to me to realize this. I feel OK about using crappy yarn to make a crappy sweater?? That's not the kind of knitter/crocheter I want to be. There is nice yarn that is not expensive that will result in a nice garment. And I can rip it out and make hats, scarves and arm warmers if I don't like the garment. It's OK. :)

And so, I went to the LYS and bought some reasonably priced Moda Dea superwash wool, in a lovely moss green, and started my crochet sweater....

the afghan square swap keeps swapping

More knit afghan squares from the Sexy Ladies Afghan Square Swap on Ravelry!

Square #8, knit by Duckette:

I love that it looks like two interlocking e's. Or yin and yang. It's just plain awesome.

Square #9 is another one from the sweet, sweet Mimosa:

Gorgeous pink lace. Something about it is so soothing! The yarn is very soft too.

If you're keeping track, you may have noticed that square #7 is missing... we had a few knitters drop out of the swap and their squares have yet to be re-distributed. OR someone is being an "angel" and knitting an extra square and it's late. I'm not really sure! I'll find out soon enough! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More afghan squares!

This is square #6-received, knit by Mimosa:

Those are swallows swooping down (think of a chest tattoo) and if you didn't see them at first, don't worry, I didn't either! First I thought they were paw prints or cat faces, but then I read Mimosa's note and I could see the birds. The square was knit in one of my favourite yarns, Moda Dea Washable Wool. (although it has some competition - Mission Falls 1824 Superwash Merino is catching up!)

I am waiting for squares 7-9. One is in the mail, and the other two were assigned to people who have now dropped out of the swap. I'm pretty sure they were re-assigned to other swap peeps, but they may be behind schedule. I'm not worried! I can always knit more for myself.

And now for the squares that I have sent out....

Square #7 for Jesshenshaw:

Pattern: Bobbles the Sheep cloth, and I added the bobble border to frame the sheep
Yarn: Moda Dea Washable Wool in Aran
Needles: 4 mm

Square #8 for Teejayhansen:

Pattern: Garterlac Dishcloth
Yarn: Laines Du Nord Giunco in S70 (washable merino)
Needles: 3 mm

This square gave me a bit of trouble. At first, I didn't like the yarn in this pattern because the colour segments are short. It didn't look the way I expected. Before ripping it out (because I had already started a few times to get the right gauge/size), I used the second ball to try some other stitch patterns, but didn't like those either! Hurumph. So I kept on with the garterlac square and overall I'm happy with it. It seemed to take a long time to knit, so I was glad to get back on to 4 mm needles for the next one...

Square #9 for Bohoknitterchic:

Pattern: Be My Dishcloth
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Superwash Merino in Zinnia
Needles: 4 mm

This square was super quick to knit after the Garterlac. I think it was one of the first swap patterns I picked out! Bohoknitterchic has a cheesy love theme for her afghan. Lots of love went into this square, even from Oxo...

He enjoyed sleeping on the WIP and on top of the pattern. (don't worry, I gave the square a good wash before mailing it!)

I am currently working on square #10 which is about 75% done, and thinking about square #11 - the last one! I have pretty much decided on the yarn, but not the pattern. The recipient is open to embellishments so there are lots of options! I could knit a plain square and then add buttons, sequins, etc. Or knit a picture and decorate. So many ideas!